The MTC Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to program $4.025 million to the Francisco Boulevard East / Grand Avenue Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Connectivity project submitted by the City of San Rafael with support from the Transportation Authority of Marin. The City of San Rafael’s project was ranked No. 1 of the 14 projects in the Bay Area slated to receive $22.2 million in Active Transportation Program (ATP) regional funding.
The project is one of the City of San Rafael’s highest priorities, as it provides greatly needed bicycle and pedestrian connectivity along the heavily traveled East Francisco Boulevard corridor. “We’re so pleased to receive funding for this significant transportation project,” said Mayor Gary Phillips. “This important connection will greatly benefit the Canal neighborhood and all of San Rafael.”
The project will promote pedestrian/bicyclist’s safety and connectivity by: widening existing sidewalk and constructing a pedestrian/bicyclist bridge over the Canal Waterway and a sidewalk on the west side of Grand Avenue, installing ADA-compliant curb ramps, providing crosswalk enhancements, restriping roadway to accommodate widened sidewalk, providing streetlights and minor landscaping.
Damon Connolly, the newly appointed Marin County representative to MTC stated, “This is great news for Marin County, the City of San Rafael and this critical bicycle/pedestrian safety project. There is limited funding available for transportation projects and this ATP grant helps fill a gap to ensure this project can move forward.” This funding is in addition to $2.1 million programmed in late 2016 by the Transportation Authority of Marin through the One Bay Area Grant program.
The Active Transportation Program (ATP) was created by the State to encourage increased use of active modes of transportation, such as biking and walking by consolidating various transportation programs, including the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), state Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), and federal and state Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs.
ATP funds are primarily distributed to two programs – State and Regional Programs. The State Program is administered by the California Transportation Commission (CTC) and the Regional Program is administered in the Bay Area by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).
ATP funds provide a total of about $120 million each year for bike and pedestrian projects across California. The program allows cities, counties, transit agencies and other public agencies to compete for grants to build bicycle/pedestrian paths, install bike racks, and other projects or programs that make walking or biking easier, safer and more convenient.